can i diffuse essential oils around my cat

It’s best to avoid diffusing essential oils around dogs and cats. In addition to inhalation exposure to potentially toxic essential oils, microdroplets of oils could collect on your pet’s fur. This exposure could lead to dermal absorption or eventual ingestion once your pet grooms or licks itself.

FACT-CHECK: Myths and Misinformation surrounding cats and essential oils

Misconception: Cats cannot metabolise essential oils.

Fact: According to Tisserand, cats virtually entirely lack vital liver enzymes that humans have, which are necessary for the metabolism of a variety of components found in essential oils. When compared to dogs and other animals, they eliminate waste considerably more slowly. As a result, there is a chance that cats will become more toxic. But rather than from inhalation, this is probably due to dietary consumption or topical application of significant amounts of neat essential oils. 7.

An investigation into the toxicology of benzyl alcohol to cats in 1972 may have given rise to the myth that cats lack the liver enzymes necessary for the metabolism of certain components of essential oils. 8.

This first study looked at the toxicosis that occurs when cats use lactated ringer’s solution containing benzyl alcohol. This is probably where the advice to use caution when using any substance that contains phenols originated. Examining this study closely reveals that the cats received injections of benzyl alcohol. 9 Still, it’s true that cats eliminate much more slowly than dogs and other animals do.

Misconception: Citrus oils are toxic to cats.

Fact: Many citrus oils are listed as toxic for cats. This may have resulted from a study conducted in the 1980s that looked at the effects of very high dosages of limonene, one of the primary ingredients in many citrus oils, in a flea repellent.

At the manufacturer’s suggested concentration, no clinical signs of toxicosis were observed in this investigation. However, at five times the recommended concentration, mild clinical signs included ataxia, short-duration hypersalivation, and shivering-like muscle tremors. It took up to five hours for the same clinical signs to appear at 15 times the recommended concentration. 10.

Despite the fact that this study used extremely high topical doses well above the recommended concentrations for cats, the falsehood that citrus oils are toxic to cats was spread. 12.

Misconception: Diffusing some essential oils with cats is not advised

Fact: There is a lot of conflicting and false information on the internet regarding which essential oils are safe or harmful for cats. These lengthy lists of essential oils that are either “safe” or “toxic” for cats are completely nonsensical; as Tisserand points out, the important thing is the total exposure.

He clarifies that as long as there is adequate ventilation and your cat has the ability to leave the room if it so chooses, you can diffuse modest amounts for brief periods of time. 7.

Toxicity is very much dose dependent and I am adamant that the dosage of essential oil that may be inhaled through diffusion is extremely small and unlikely to be toxic. You can read my full analysis on these various lists in my comprehensive blog here.

Fact-check: Are essential oils hazardous to cats?

The following common houseplants are toxic to cats and can cause severe illness or even death, according to several veterinary medical papers:

  • Poinsettias
  • Lilies
  • Holly
  • Tulips
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Hydrangeas

… Just to name a few.

Typical garden and home products that are also classified as poisonous, dangerous, and possibly lethal to cats include:

  • Pesticides
  • Fertilizers
  • Weed Killers
  • Snail Bait
  • Ethylene Glycol Antifreeze
  • Paint Thinner
  • Swimming Pool Chemicals
  • Bleach
  • Detergents
  • Disinfectants

When it comes to essential oils, cats should avoid consuming them, applying them to their delicate skin, or putting them on their fur, which they might ingest while grooming themselves.

The lengthy list of essential oils that are thought to be harmful to pets surprised me. It includes the following: lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mint, myrrh, orange, pine, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, sassafras, tarragon, tea tree, wormwood, and ylang ylang. ².

Some of the essential oils on this list, like wormwood, sassafras, and bitter almond, I believe to be extremely dangerous, even for humans.

Additionally, there is inconsistency among lists of harmful oils, with numerous websites publishing contradicting information. For instance, some lists claim that eucalyptus is safe for cats, but others claim that it is toxic to cats.

It seems that limonene and phenols are the source of which oils are toxic to cats; I go into great detail about these in this detailed blog post.

But if you use essential oils around your cat with caution and according to instructions, they shouldn’t be harmful to your beloved pet.

can i diffuse essential oils around my cat

Concerns are raised by one veterinary medicine school regarding the possibility of respiratory irritation from the cat inhaling essential oils. ².

Symptoms of respiratory irritation include:

  • Watery nose and eyes
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • *Difficulty breathing: The cat crouchs low to the ground, moving little in the abdomen and not producing a furball; this is easy to distinguish from releasing a furball. ².

The professor who wrote the article explains that when you diffuse essential oil, tiny droplets are released into the air and land on your cat’s fur, where they could inadvertently ingest the oil while it grooms itself. ².

All of this points to the conclusion that you shouldn’t diffuse essential oils around pets in an enclosed space, especially if you don’t give your cat the option to leave the area where the diffuser is located.

Additionally, owners of pets should use caution when using essential oils around cats because they could knock over the diffuser and swallow any oils that spill.

In such a case, call poison control right away. Be prepared that the toxicologist needs to know:

Certain essential oils are very helpful when used as a remedy for cats. But using them is difficult because there’s a fine line between a poison and a cure. Consequently, you shouldn’t take them by yourself because the key is in maintaining the proper concentration! It is a job for professionals.

Jasmine essential oil is widely recognized as a great option for lowering cats’ levels of stress and depression. You can use this specific oil to balance their hormones because they are highly susceptible to these conditions. It may boost the mood of your cat, as well. Hmm. Yes, it can if your cat decides so.

The fact is that your cat has a scent sensitivity more than fourteen times greater than yours, thanks to over 200 000 000 scent cells. You have a modest 5 000 000 of them in your nose. I suppose it is all clear to you.

Essential oil of clary sage is a great way for you to unwind and refresh without worrying about your cat being harmed.


Are any essential oils safe to diffuse around cats?

On the other hand, Emily MacLeod, author of Essential oils for Cats, lists “geranium (high in phenols)” as “not advisable” to be used with cats, but then states that spearmint, rosemary, peppermint lavender, ylang ylang, and blue gum eucalyptus as being acceptable to use with cats.

Is lemongrass safe to diffuse around cats?

The essential oil is too strong for cats and can be harmful if they consume it. Even diffusing lemongrass oil or using it in any other way around cats can make them sick​​. Additionally, exposure to concentrated forms of lemongrass, such as essence or essential oil, can be deadly for cats, causing respiratory problems.

Is Doterra breathe safe to diffuse around cats?

Our veterinary panel has found that when these oils are in a blend (such as dōTERRA Breathe or DigestZen), they’re safe to use on your pets when diluted with dōTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil or diffused. When diffusing oils around the house, keep your diffuser out of reach from pets.